I am still catching up with all the releases from the last couple of weeks, but there is really only one release to worry yourself about this week -- the full length debut from Flight of the Conchords. I know there are still some of you out there who have not yet seen the television show, but you really have no excuse. The 12 episode first season came out on DVD in November, so you have had plenty of time to watch it. Put it on your Netflix, go rent it from your favorite video store, or just go buy it. It really is that good that you might find yourself wanting to watch it over and over again. They released an EP of music from the show a couple of months ago on Sub Pop. But the full album Flight of the Conchords just came out this week. The album is packaged beautifully. I really appreciate when bands actually spend some time figuring out how they want the LP and CD to look. The artsy cartoonish drawings are perfect for this album, and the cartoon images of Bret and Jemaine look exactly like them. When you open up the CD they actually pop up at you, sort of like a pop up book. You also get a poster folded up in the inside of the CD. It is always nice to get a sort of unexpected surprise once you open up the album. The illustrations are by Tyler Stout and the art direction is by Jeff Kleinsmith and Dusty Summers. I seriously would not normally care to find out who did the artwork but I really am in love with the look of this album.
I have come to the realization that you may not really "get" this album unless you have seen the show, but maybe I am wrong. It is possible that millions of people will pick up the album and just appreciate the songs for what they are, or just treat it like buying a comedy album without actually ever seeing the comedian perform live. I listened to their original BBC radio series yesterday. Before the show was ever filmed they did this radio show. It is still hilarious and is done like an old radio show with a narrator. Some of the same sketches were also used in the TV show that followed. Just in case you are still confused, the show is about two musicians from New Zealand who are in a band called Flight of the Conchords. They move to New York to try to make it in the music world. Their music is sometimes a bit folky but they cover all sorts of music from electro to hip hop. They have one crazy fan who comes to all their shows, but not very many more. They have a horrible part time manager who has no idea how to manage a band. Each episode usually contains two music videos.
The show is sort of a musical because situations sometimes become musical numbers. And the videos take place in their normal lives but often with surreal dreamlike elements added in. It is a sort of spoof of bands trying to make it. But they are actually sort of good musicians and the songs are brilliant. You really just need to watch the show to fully appreciate it, sort of like the Sarah Silverman Program. I can't really explain to you how brilliant the show is without you seeing an episode. You can't really fully grasp how great it is until you actually see it. They are like really good Saturday Night Live skits without the actors obviously looking at cue cards. I guess there might even be people out there that may not like the show, but if you have a sense of humor I can't really understand how you would not absolutely love this show. Flight of the Conchords are performing live at Amoeba in Hollywood on Thursday, April 24th, at 6PM. I think there will be about a billion people there. For a while I thought I was only one of a small few that liked this show. But I am slowly realizing that the show has made it into a lot of peoples hearts. They will also be on a tour in the next couple months --but I really can't wait for this former little radio show to be performed live on the Amoeba stage!
Here is a video for "Inner City Pressure" from one of the episodes of the first season of the TV show...this song is also on the album...and I think might be one of my favorites...
also out today...
From the Valley to the Stars by El Perro Del Mar
Seldom Seen Kid by Elbow
Neil Hamburger Sings Country Winners by Neil Hamburger
Forever Changes deluxe edition by Love
Hootenanny reissue by The Replacements
Let It Be reissue by The Replacements
Sorry Ma Forgot to Take Out the Trash reissue by The Replacements
Stink reissue by the Replacements
Mister Lonely: Music from a film by Harmony Korine by J. Spaceman
Elephant Shell by Tokyo Police Club